Responding to the still little-known danger that critical parts of Jerusalem might soon be lost to the Jewish People, the Orthodox Union has sprung into action.
The OU is a prominent member of the newly-formed Coordinating Council for Jerusalem’s Future, a coalition of American-Jewish organizations dedicated to preventing Jerusalem from falling victim to the Annapolis summit. In a press release, the OU explains that it is taking action in light of "public statements by American, Israeli and Palestinian officials calling into question the fate of Jerusalem as the eternal and indivisible capital of the Jewish People."
The OU's actions include political lobbying by its Institute for Public Affairs in Washington, prayer and studies in synagogues across the United States, and more. A letter has been sent to rabbis across the country, reminding them to educate their congregants regarding both the sanctity of Jerusalem and the political dangers it now faces.
The Orthodox Union, which has been active for more than 100 years in day-to-day Jewish communal affairs, has also sent out a flyer entitled “10 Ways You Can Help Jerusalem,” to be displayed in synagogues, and each week it plans to send additional ideas. Suggestions include the reciting of Psalms 79, 122, 125, 126 and 137, which have special mention of Jerusalem; donating to an organization that supports the needy in Jerusalem; and placing a picture of Jerusalem on one’s wall.
The common denominator: keeping Jerusalem uppermost on the minds of Jews during these critical times.
The OU has also called on its synagogues to strengthen their Torah study by beginning the “Nach Yomi” cycle of daily chapters from the Prophets and Writings of the Bible. The two-year cycle, modeled after the popular Daf Yomi program, begins on November 1, and will be carried on OU Radio.
The OU's youth wing, the National Council of Synagogue Youth, is working on the development of special Jerusalem programming in all its 14 regions from coast to coast, and is developing videos to send to the regions and schools.
Stanley Weinstein, Chairman of the OU Synagogue Services Commission, explains, “We have an opportunity to take the negative comments that are being made by various members of the Israeli government regarding dividing Jerusalem, and to turn these comments around through positive reinforcement in all of our constituencies of our belief that Jerusalem remains the eternal, undivided capital of the Jewish people no matter where they live and the undivided capital of the State of Israel.”